Southern Kaduna and other areas of Kaduna metropolis have in the last two years become hot spots of violence and wanton killings. Taking the form of ethnic or communal clash and religious fights, hoodlums unleash mayhem on residents, and the death toll is always in tens and scores.
As these incidents became more frequent, the Kaduna state government put in place curfew as the ‘flight-mode’ measure to stem the violence from recurring, and return peace to affected areas. This has, however, only been effective for immediate return to calm in these locations. It has done almost nothing to prevent recurrence.
Just hours after crisis erupted from a protest in Kaduna metropolis last October, soldiers reportedly took over the streets of the city. This was just as the state government announced a 24-hour curfew to prevent the protesters from perpetrating violence. .
Again in August last year, Kaduna state government imposed a 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew on Kwaru and Ungwan Yero communities in the Kaduna North Local Government Area of the state.
This became necessary after the killing of two youths in the communal clashes that took place in the two communities. The government had to send security agents in their numbers to the area to maintain law and order, an objective that would be impeded if people are allowed to roam the streets.
Nasir El-Rufa’i, the state governor, acknowledged that these issues are not unconnected to divisive tendencies along fault lines of religion and ethnicity, which remain inimical to peaceful co-existence in the area.
The curfew lasted for a few days, and some calm truly returned to the area. But that was temporary, considering the number of similar attacks recorded in the past six months.
News came in again few days ago that three communities in Kaduna are under heavy attack.
As always, state government brought the quick-fix by imposing a dusk-to-dawn curfew on the troubled Kajuru Local Government Area, running from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily until further notice.
The attack, which occurred on Monday, left no fewer than 16 persons killed by unknown gunmen. The armed assailants invaded Barde Village under Maro in Kajuru Local Government Area and started shooting sporadically which resulted in the deaths of 16 persons.
The curfew will last for a few days, and relative calm will again return, until the next few weeks, when another carnage will break out.
The Kaduna state government and stakeholders in the nation’s security know that the incessant crisis is tied to long-standing ethnic divisions, inter-community enmity, and religious intolerance. But unfortunately, the absence of the political will to get to the root of this issue is causing daily deaths in Kaduna.
When the government let go of this carrot-and-stick method, in favour of dialogue, placing communities on heavy security watch, then, we can bid a final farewell to this unending massacre.
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